A Connecticut business license gives your Limited Liability Company (LLC) permission to operate in a certain location or within a specific industry.
We can’t walk you through any applicable license applications step-by-step, because every business is unique. But we do provide helpful resources like:
- information about state licensing rules
- instructions for researching municipal licenses
And if you want to just hire a company to do the research for you, we have a recommendation below.
Connecticut Business License Requirements
After you form a Connecticut LLC, you may need to obtain a business license or permit.
Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your Connecticut Limited Liability Company is located.
Because of the large number of industries and all of the municipalities in Connecticut, it’s not possible for us to explain them all. However, you can use the search tools below, call your local municipality, or hire a company for help.
Need to save time? We recommend hiring MyCompanyWorks (for $99) to handle the business license research for you.
How to get a Business License in Connecticut
You can obtain a business license in Connecticut by applying with the relevant licensing or regulatory agency. The agency you apply with will depend on where your business is located and what business activities it engages in.
The business license application typically requires basic information, such as your LLC name, EIN Number, business address, and contact information. Many also include a questionnaire that asks about your business activity.
There are three main licensing jurisdictions:
- State licensing
- Local licensing, such as county, city, township, etc.
- Federal licensing
Does Connecticut Require a Business License?
That depends on where your business is located, and what it does.
There are two types of state-level business licenses:
- a general business license
- and an occupational license
Connecticut General Business License
Some states have a general license requirement, which means all businesses operating in those states must have the license, regardless of what they do.
Although Connecticut doesn’t have a general business license requirement, you do have to register with the Department of Revenue and get a Connecticut State Tax Identification Number.
This state tax ID is required to do business in the state, and is different from your LLC’s federal EIN number.
Connecticut State Tax ID Number
Every business operating in Connecticut must have a State Tax Identification Number.
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services’ Register Your Business page will guide you through the process. The registration fee is $100.
All new businesses must register using myconneCT. Most types of businesses will file Form REG-1. But you should check the list on the Dept. of Revenue Services Applications page to make sure you don’t need to file additional documents with Form REG-1.
Connecticut Occupational License
Most states have occupational business license requirements. This means a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does or what your occupation is. For example, if you sell used cars, or run a hair salon, you may need an occupational business license. But a license may not be required for other types of businesses.
The Connecticut state government has created a digital business assistant that will walk you through a checklist for your new business. This is designed to help you determine if your Connecticut business needs an occupational license or permit, and which agency to contact about applying for the license.
The CT.gov License and Permit Center has a list of government agencies that issue business licenses. You should contact the relevant agency directly to find out about the license application process.
Note: Connecticut business licenses are not issued by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is responsible for business entity administration, for example Limited Liability Company formation.
Connecticut Industry-Specific Taxes
Connecticut also has some industry-specific taxes. The Department of Revenue has a list of Tax Information for Businesses to help you determine if any of these taxes will apply to your Connecticut LLC. This will depend on what your LLC does (what industry it’s in).
You can also contact the Department of Revenue Services with questions.
How much is a Connecticut Business License?
Connecticut doesn’t have a general business license at the state level, so there are no fees there. However, you must register your LLC with the Department of Revenue Services to get a Connecticut Tax ID. This State Tax ID Registration costs $100.
And your business may need a state-level occupational license or municipal-level license or permit to operate. The filing fee for these licenses will vary depending on where you’re doing business and what industry you’re in. To be honest, we can’t predict your specific Connecticut business license cost.
For example, licenses issued by a county that contains a large city are usually more expensive than licenses in less populated, rural counties. And licenses for regulated industries, like child care facilities, are usually more expensive than generic business licenses.
But your LLC might not need a license or permit at all. So your other Connecticut business license cost could be $0 (not including the $100 State Tax ID fee).
See LLC Cost in Connecticut to learn about all the possible LLC fees.
Municipal Business License
Municipal business licenses can be issued by the city, town, county, parish, township, borough, etc. We refer to all of these as a “municipality” to keep things simple.
There are two types of municipal business licenses:
- general business license
- industry-specific license
For example, if a municipality has a general business license requirement, all businesses operating in that municipality must have the license, regardless of what they do.
And if a municipality has industry-specific business licenses, a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does. For example, if you operate a food truck, or run a daycare, you may need an industry-specific municipal business license. Or if you’re purchasing or leasing real estate, you may need a zoning permit.
But a license may not be required for other types of businesses, like making wedding invitation templates or offering marketing consulting.
You can contact your municipality to check on their local licensing requirements:
Connecticut Sales Tax License
If you sell products to consumers in Connecticut, you may need to collect sales tax and file a Sales and Use Tax Return.
If your business activities are subject to sales and use tax, your LLC must register with the Department of Revenue Services.
Note: This requirement will apply whether you sell products online or in a physical location in Connecticut.
You can register for sales tax through myconneCT when you apply for your state tax ID Number.
The Department of Revenue Services has a complete guide for new businesses: Managing Sales Tax.
Or you can contact the Department of Revenue Services directly.
Tip: Save time by hiring an expert. We recommend using TaxJar. They'll help you register for, collect, and pay sales tax.
Do I need any federal business licenses?
Most businesses in Connecticut don’t need a federal business license. However, certain industries do need federal licenses:
|If your business…
|Contact this agency about business licenses
|Transports animals, plants or biotechnology over state lines
|Department of Agriculture
|Imports or exports animal products, wildlife, or products derived from wildlife (including fish)
|Fish and Wildlife Service
|Fish and Wildlife Service
|Broadcasts on radio or TV
|Federal Communications Commission
|Makes alcohol and sells it at a retail store
|Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
|Makes or sells firearms, ammunition or explosives
|Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives
|Transports cargo by sea
|Federal Maritime Commission
|Transports goods or people by air
|Federal Aviation Administration
Check out the Small Business Administration’s Licenses and Permits page for a full list of industries with federal license requirements.
If your business isn’t one of these special cases, then the only federal requirements are that your LLC get a Connecticut EIN Number (aka Federal Employer Identification Number) and that you file taxes.
Connecticut Business License FAQs
How much does a business license cost in Connecticut?
Connecticut doesn’t have a general business license for LLCs, so there are no fees there. But the required Department of Revenue Services registration costs $100. This is because every Connecticut business must have a state tax identification number.
If your business has to get an occupational license or municipal (city or county) permit, the fees are hard to predict. Depending on your LLC’s location, and what type of business or industry you’re in, the fee varies.
And you might not need a business license at all!
Unfortunately, we can’t say what your LLC’s business license costs would be, because it depends on several factors and the cost of Connecticut licenses varies.
Is an LLC considered a business license?
No, an LLC is not a business license. They are two completely different things.
An LLC is a type of business structure created by filing a document with the state government.
And a business license is a document that gives a person, or a company, the right to transact business. It doesn’t create an LLC.
Does a Sole Proprietor need a business license in Connecticut?
Sometimes a new business owner chooses to operate as a Sole Proprietorship in Connecticut instead of an LLC.
Even if you’re just trying out a business idea as a Sole Proprietorship, you may still be subject to license requirements at the state and municipal levels. It just depends on what you will be doing, and where you will be operating your business.
Does the Connecticut Secretary of State provide a business license?
No, the Connecticut Secretary of State doesn’t handle licensing requirements. Instead, they manage business entity formation and registration. For example, depending on business entity type, business owners file different paperwork with the Secretary of State to create their business entity.
For more information, or to determine if there is a Connecticut business license cost for your business, we recommend contacting the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services and/or your local government agency. For example, your local county or city government will have information about any local licenses.
How to start an LLC in Connecticut
Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Connecticut:
- Select a business name for your Connecticut LLC
- Choose your Registered Agent
- File the LLC Certificate of Organization with the state
- Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Open an LLC bank account
- Check whether you need a business license or tax permits in Connecticut
CT.gov Business: Start a New Business Checklist
CT Dept. of Revenue Services: Managing Sales Tax
CT Dept. of Revenue Services: Register Your Business
CT Dept. of Revenue Services: Resources for Businesses
CT Dept. of Revenue Services: Information on Business Taxes
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.